China will continue to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights, or IPR, of foreign companies to create a favorable business environment and to maintain its position as a hot spot for global investors, said the country's top market regulator on Wednesday.
"The Chinese government attaches great importance to the protection of intellectual property rights of foreign enterprises and vigorously safeguards their rights and interests," said Gan Lin, deputy head of the State Administration for Market Regulation, at a news conference.
"The government treats enterprises that are registered in China equally and strives to create a market environment of fair competition through high-quality services.
"We will continue to increase efforts in protecting intellectual property rights, in order to create a more fair, transparent and predictable business environment for foreign enterprises. We firmly believe that China will remain one of the top destinations for foreign investment, and foreign companies will definitely have better development prospects in China."
SAMR data showed that in 2022, China's actual use of foreign investment reached 1.23 trillion yuan ($177.7 billion), up 6.3 percent year-on-year.
As at the end of last year, the number of valid patents owned by foreign entities in China reached 861,000, up 4.5 percent year-on-year, according to the SAMR. It involved 58,000 foreign companies, 2,000 more than the previous year.
The number of valid registered trademarks owned by foreign entities in China reached 2.03 million as at the end of last year, up 5.9 percent year-on-year, the administration said.
"With favorable economic development prospects and a continuously optimized business environment, China continues to be a hot spot for global investment and business," Gan said, attributing the growth of foreign companies to the country's evolving business environment.
In recent years, the country had enacted the Foreign Investment Law, implemented its various rules, and formulated an action plan for the protection of intellectual property rights of foreign-funded enterprises, completing with specific measures for the promotion, protection and regulation of foreign companies' investment.
In 2021, the government issued documents, including an outline for building an intellectual property powerhouse (2021-35) and the 14th Five-Year National Plan for Intellectual Property Protection and Application, that provide clear guidance on promoting the protection of intellectual property rights of foreign enterprises.
In January, the Chinese government issued a document on measures to further encourage the establishment of research and development centers to ramp up support for foreign companies to carry out activities relevant to scientific research, development and innovation.
At the same time, the Chinese government also launched actions to protect the intellectual property rights of foreign enterprises, increase efforts to crack down on acts of infringement of their intellectual property, and effectively safeguard the rights and interests of foreign companies, according to the SAMR.